At a community council meeting Tuesday night, Capt. Maximo Tolentino, commanding officer of the 84th Precinct, pleaded with residents of Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill to keep their front doors locked. He noted that of 141 burglaries in the precinct in 2012, 48 occurred when residents were daft enough to leave front doors and windows unlocked. This is reminiscent of a rash of burglaries here in 2011. An instance leading to our humble publisher inventing a word.
“The bottom line is, close your doors before you leave,” Tolentino says. “We’ve gotten so comfortable with the fact that only 2.8 crimes happen per day [within the precinct] that we let our guard down when we get home. Even if you’re home, you can’t assume it’s OK to leave your front door open.”
Tolentino advised residents to be more aware of their surroundings and to report burglaries by calling 911: “We are doing everything we can on our end, but we need everyone to do their part as well.”
New York magazine adds that this isn’t the first time Brooklyn Heights residents have been reminded that bad things happen “even in posh, idyllic neighborhoods.” From March 2011: “Brooklyn Heights, the brownstone and red-brick bastion of families new and old, has seen a crime spree of sorts: four burglaries in the past five days. But none of the burglaries came from a forced entry, a broken window. Instead, the burglars simply let themselves in through windows, or doors that residents, perhaps overly confident, had left open.”
DNAInfo.com quotes Howard Kolins, president of the Boerum Hill Association: “Certainly with crime down citywide, many people are less wary. Yes, check your door locks and take the ear buds out and look to see where you’re going. Don’t become a crime victim because you encouraged a crime of opportunity.”
The 84th Precinct covers Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Vinegar Hill.